Philosopher Roman Krznaric has coined the term “outrospection” to provide us with a new way to approach our relationships with others. Outrospection is a way to get to know oneself by developing relationships and empathetic thinking with others. Krznaric does not see empathy as a soft social concept used to connect with those who are dis-empowered, but rather as a discovery of oneself by “stepping outside ourselves and exploring the lives of other people and cultures”. In this way empathetic thinking is a pathway to expand your social influence, overcome stereotypes and barriers about those who are different and engage individuals in collective empathetic movements that can make change. Learn more about “outrospection” and empathetic thinking on Krznaric’s blog or by watching this RSA video in which his words are accompanied by drawings about this theory.
As you watch the video, you will hear about several ideas that are closely related to intercultural learning and the work that we do at AFS, such as overcoming stereotypes, affective and cognitive empathy, perspective-taking, worldview, beliefs, assumptions, attentive listening, two-way dialogues, etc.
“Highly empathetic people get beyond those labels by nurturing their curiosity about others. How can we might nurture our curiosity? How can we find inspiration?”